SOFINS 2019: Tactical and armored vehicles for Special Forces test drive & review


Latest generation of tactical and armored vehicles for Special Forces presented during the SOFINS Special Forces Operations Equipment exhibition that was held in France from the 2 to 4 April 2019. Today, modern Special Forces units need new combat vehicles to perform long-range patrol missions offering a high level of mobility, protection and firepower.



Test drive and review Special Forces vehicles at SOFINS 2019. (Picture source Army Recognition)


At SOFINS 2019, many new vehicles were showed for the first time or configured to be used by soldiers of Special Forces units. In this article, Army Recognition editorial team presents a detailed analysis of the vehicles displayed at SOFINS 2019, including Sabre 4x4 Special Forces vehicle from ARQUUS, Titus 6x6 armored APCV from Nexter, Hawkei 4x4 protected vehicle from Thales Australia, Fortress tactical vehicle for SWAT team from Centigon, VPS 2 from Technamm, 6x6 logistic tactical vehicle base on Toyota chassis from Technamm, Dagor A1 4x4 All-Terrain Vehicle from Polaris, Booxt Assault Buggy from BOOXT, tracked Toyota Land Cruiser with mortar system from Thales and Technamm, and the Unmanned Ground Vehicle Barakuda from Sharc Robotics.


Sabre ARQUUS Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Sabre 4x4 Special Forces vehicle designed and manufactured by the French Company ARQQUS. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Sabre is the export version of the PLFS (Heavy Vehicle for Special Forces) designed and manufactured by the French Company ARQUUS, able to conduct long-range patrols and intelligence-gathering missions with a high level of mobility and firepower.

The Sabre is based on an open-top architecture with two seats at the front and a cargo area at the rear that can be equipped with four individual seats. A ring mount weapon station is mounted on the roof of the vehicle which can be armed with 12.7mm heavy machine gun.

The Sabre is motorized with a Deutz 1013 or MD5 4 cylinder Diesel engine coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It can run at a maximum speed of 110 km/ with a maximum cruising range of 800 km.


Titus Nexter Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Titus 6x6 APC Armored Personnel Carrier vehicle designed and manufactured by the French Company Nexter. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The TITUS 6x6 manufactured by the French Company Nexter was showed in APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) configuration. The layout of the Nexter TITUS is very similar to MRAP category vehicle with the engine at the front, the crew compartment in the middle and the troop's area at the rear. The APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) version of the TITUS Nexter has seating for ten dismounted troops, a commander station, and a gunner and driver in the front.

The Nexter TITUS ® can be equipped with any kind of Remote Control Weapon Station from 7.62mm to 20mm, and 40mm Grenade Launchers as well, depending on the level of threats and type of missions.

The Nexter Titus is motorized with a 440hp Cummins engine bit it can be fitted in option with a 550 hp engine. It can run at a maximum road speed of 110 km/ h with a maximum cruising range of 700 km.


Hawkei Thales Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Hawkei 4x4 light protected vehicle designed and manufactured by Thales Australia. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Hawkei is a 4x4 light protected vehicle designed and developed by Thales Australia for the Australian Department of Defence’s Land 121 phase 4 program that aims to replace the Australian Army’s Land Rovers.

The layout of Hawkei 4x4 light protected vehicle is conventional, with the engine at the front, crew and troops compartment in the center and a large cargo area at the rear. It incorporates high levels of blast and ballistic protection in a light, highly maneuverable and readily air transportable vehicle that has been engineered for peak performance.

The Hawkei 4x4 light protected vehicle is motorized with a six-cylinder, 3.2 liter direct injection diesel engine rated at 225 kW and producing maximum torque of 680 Nm at 2,000 rpm. It can run at a maximum road speed of 115 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.


Fortress Centigon Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Fortress SWAT vehicle produced by the French Company Centigon (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Fortress 200 is a SWAT team vehicle based on the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 designed and manufactured by the French Company Centigon. The vehicle offers a protection Level B7 against firing of small arms. It successfully passed a side blast of 15kg TNT charge detonated at 2m, 6kg TNT under the front wheel (STANAG 2a), a mine explosion (one DM31 mine) under the floor, and the explosion of two DM51 hand grenades simultaneously detonated on the roof.

The rear double doors, the ballistic removable flanks and the roof hatch act as a shield to protect the occupants under fire. Certified to circulate in France, the Fortress 200 Intervention can also be used in external operations theatres.

The FORTRESS 200 Intervention is specially designed for Police Special Forces and is in service with the GIGN, French Gendarmerie SWAT Team.


VPS 2 Technamm Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
VPS 2 Light Tactical Vehicle for Special Forces produced under license in France by the Company Technamm. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The VPS 2 is based on the British Fox Long Range Patrol Vehicle developed and designed by the British company Jankel, and manufactured under license from Jankel by the Technamm facility located in Southern France. According to the French Special Forces, the vehicle is an urgent requirement while waiting for the delivery of the VLFS (Véhicule Léger pour Forces Spéciales - Light Vehicle for Special Forces) which is under development by the French company Arquus. The VPS 2 will remain in service for a maximum period of 10 years.

The VPS 2 can accommodate up to 6 soldiers. The vehicle is designed to perform long-range missions over long periods. Its platform firepower, maneuverability, and supportability make it a highly versatile vehicle, ideal for many roles, both in rural and urban situations. The vehicle offers highly mobile fire support and tactical force protection platform and caters for a range of weaponry with configurable mounts at locations around the platform.

The VPS 2 is based on a 4x4 Toyota all-terrain chassis. It has an open top configuration without side doors, a requirement from the French Special Forces. The vehicle has a gross weight of 4.2 tons with a maximum payload of 1,700 kg. The VPS 2 can reach a maximum road speed of 170 km/h, with a maximum cruising range of 1,500 km.


Toyota tactical vehicle 6x6 chassis Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Tactical vehicle based on Toyota 6x6 chassis designed by the French Company Technamm. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Technamm, 6x6 is a new logistic vehicle based on Toyota chassis. This new 6x6 vehicle benefits from increased payload and capacity whilst maintaining the mobility and tactical fighting capability already well-proven with the 4x4 configurations.

The Technamm 6x6 tactical vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 6,300kg and offers a significant and configurable payload of up to 3,000kg. The increased vehicle length also delivers additional user payload and operational space. Both the 6x6 and 4x4 FOX variants carry as standard a crew of 3 or 4 and can achieve speeds of up to 155 km/h at maximum GVW.


Dagor A1 Polaris Defense Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Dagor A1 All-Terrain vehicle from the American Company Polaris Defense. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Dagor A1 is an ultra-light tactical vehicle designed and manufactured by the American Company Polaris Defense.

The DAGOR A1 provides exceptional off-road mobility, payload and transportability – carrying up to nine warfighters and their gear, for a total payload of up to 4,000 pounds (1,814 kilograms) on the DAGOR® A1. An increased ride height – even at full payload – provides better obstacle clearance and improves off-road mobility. DAGOR® A1 maintains air-drop, sling-load and internal tactical air transportability on CH47 and CH53 helicopters from the original ultralight vehicle platform. And DAGOR® has successfully completed hot weather trials in the Gulf Region.


Booxt Assault Buggy Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Booxt Assault Buggy from the French Company BOOXT. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Booxt Assault Buggy is designed by the French Company BOOXT, it is a light buggy of 1,000 kg that can handle a payload of 700 kg and have a speed up to 160 km/h, with a cruising of 800km.

Transportable by air, it has 2.0L DIESEL 180HP/400Nm engine and a 6 speeds low ratio manual gearbox. This modular platform could fit all requirements: special operations, recognition, surveillance, rescue, etc.

It comes with optional equipment, such as light armored shield door, airless Michelin tires, Pilar V shot detection (GPS point), weapon arms up to 7.62 mm.


Masstech tracked vehicle with Thales mortar Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Masstech vehicle with tracked system and Thales mortar mounted at the rear of the vehicle made by the French Company Technamm. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Toyota tracked vehicle is based on a modified Land Cruiser wheeled vehicle chassis, the wheels were removed and replaced by tracks systems designed by the Company Mattracks.

The front of the vehicle is fitted with an enclosed cabin with two seats, the rear part of the vehicle has a cargo area equipped with a Thales Scorpion 81mm mortar system.
Scorpion is an integrated automated mobile mortar platform, capable of target acquisition, onboard fire control, and automatic laying of the mortar tube.

Mounted on a single palletized platform, it fires from the back of a vehicle in less than 15 seconds. This is made possible through ballistics calculations, orientation methods and recoil absorption.

The Scorpion can operate in day or night conditions. It boasts direct and indirect fire capabilities with high accuracy (pointing and positioning), improved responsiveness and rapid target switching (shoot, shift, shoot). It has a high first round hit probability and is digitally connected to the battlefield.


Barakuda Shark Robotics Special Forces Operations tactical and armored vehicles test drive and review at SOFINS 2019 925 001
Barakuda 4x4 wheeled Unmanned Ground Vehicle UGV from the French Company Shark Robotics (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Barakuda is a 4x4 wheeled Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) manufactured by the French Company Shark Robotics.

The Barakuda is powered by an electric four 3,000 watts engines offering the vehicle to run at a speed of 15 lm/h during 10 hours. It can carry up to 1,000 kg of payload and has a traction capacity of 2,000 kg.


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